Winter is a hard moment for most people in Norway and moreso for the foreigners. For me, walking has been such a hard task trying to figure out where to step and it tires the mind. When the snow falls, it melts into ice and the ice freezes and the roads get so slippery.
Accidents are prone to happen around the winter time and hospitals report increased cases of patients with fractured hands and the legs. Vehicles too collide on each other and driving becomes a hustle. Just last week, two buses were reported to have collided into each other at Kristiansand and my colleague too had a story to tell me.
“ My wife was driving home last evening and before getting into the compound, she makes a right turn and as she did so, the car just slid and it missed the house by a few centimeters. She left it there, called me to say she won’t even attempt to remove it, so she had to wait for me to get home to remove it for her. It is very dangerous especially when there is ice,” narrated my colleague, Nils.
This Sunday I had a share on the icing experience, I will say God saved us from what I can imagine could have happened. It was a week known as Fellesmøtene. (A week of fellowship whose goal is to bring all Christian Churches in one town for fellowship, teaching and prayer). In my Church, we had an International Service conducted in English and Translated into Norsk unlike the rest of the other Sundays when we have the services in Norsk and translated into English. On Saturday, when one of the leaders called to ask me if I could read the Scriptures in Swahili, my response was, “I don’t mind, unfortunately I do not have a Swahili Bible.”
“We have a Swahili Bible in Church,” said Arve and so I agreed and read the Scriptures in Swahili and felt really home, actually I didn’t even know that the church had a Swahili Bible. I was excited about the whole service, and Ghana ’s Joe Crampah as usual gave a powerful sermon the African way, a bit loud and very humorous. After the service, we had “Open Homes” where volunteers did invite people for lunch at their homes.
It happened that my friends from Tanzania , Uganda and I were to land in one of our friend’s house and so we started the drive a few minutes after the service. “The roads are bad, it is very slippery so we will drive in a convoy sort of thing, then we can watch after each other,” said Hilda who was going to drive four of us in her car to her parents house.
The driving has been a challenge, and 15 minutes later we are almost at our hosts place. We find Hilda’s mother packed by the roadside and together with her passengers have decided to take a walk home. We drive past them and Hilda says. “ It is not easy, the car is just sliding and of course we notice that. It is a sloppy way, the car sways on all sides of the road and she decides to stop. Her father who was ahead of us comes back and says “You are home, it is just a few miles away, so leave the car here and walk to the house.”
Annete, Hilda and her daughter get out of the car but I remain behind because I can see people struggling to walk, so I decide to reach for my brodders (snow grabbers) from my handbag and fix them on my shoes. What happens after this, I really can’t tell. It happens so fast. I realize the car is reversing but then, who is reversing the car? Is it sliding back on it´s own? In my imagination, all I could see was Hildas mom, her passengers and I getting crashed because they were now walking in between the cars. I get confused and I don’t know how to stop the car. From the back seat, I reach for the hand brake, but I realize it is off and the car is on free gear. Then, I see the keys and I figure out that the car is on, so I quickly manage to turn the steering wheel and it works. The car gets off the road and it gets stuck on the snow. Phewxxx!
I get out and we all watch in amazement trying to imagine what could have befallen us. It was so close, but of course God was never going to allow it to happen. So we finally leave all the cars to Hilda’s dad to figure out how to drive them to his house, which he does anyway.
We get to the house and we have lots of fun cooking, it was such a wonderful afternoon. Now I understand why the Norwegians long for the Spring. “Winter is such a boring experience-winter depression, very cold temperatures, flu outbreak and it gets very scary walking as well as driving,” they say and I definitely agree!
As they wait for Spring, I can’t wait for the Summer season!!